Even before training camp started, optimistic Bruins fans were anxious to see 2014 first round draft pick David Pastrnak have a chance to make the Bruins roster. The 18 year old makes eyes glitter with excitement when he cruises around the ice, effortlessly teasing defenders with the puck.
Much to the disappointment of fans of the Black and Gold, Pastrnak was sent down to the Providence Bruins of the AHL to hone his skills.
Due to a rash of injuries, Pastrnak got his chance to shine in Boston. The metaphorical train was leaving the station.
All aboard the David Pastrnak bandwagon.
The young Czech finished second on the Bruins in points per sixty minutes, with 2.52. He was second on the team for assists and individual Fenwick, both per sixty minutes. His offensive creativity and ability to create space with and without the puck was critical to the Bruins’ success.
The Bruins craved a right wing, specifically one that could fill a top six role, more than teen girls thrist for likes on Instagram. Jarome Iginla bolted to Colorado due to Boston’s cap crunch, and left behind a crater on the top line. Pastrnak, called “Pasta” by some, was able to ease the remedy of losing Iginla despite playing vastly different styles.
While Iginla is a scoring winger who can stand up for himself and his teammates with his physical style of play, the 18 year old “Pasta” resembles a limp noodle, weighing in at a hefty 167 pounds and standing tall at an intimidating six feet. While Iginla consistently pounced on opportunities in front of the net, Pastrnak gelled with his linemates in different ways.
Pastrnak is a truly dynamic player. With the puck, he uses his vision and quick hands to find the open man. Although he is known as more of a facilitator, he can use his agility to beat defenders and single-handedly create chances. Without the puck, Pastrnak utilizes his quickness to open up the ice and spread out defenders, allowing for more space for his teammates. His speed, especially when coming through the neutral zone, forces defenders to back up and give him more room and additional space for the trailer looking for a shot in the slot.
During five on five situations, the Bruins greatly benefit from having Pastrnak on the ice. The Bruins outscore opponents 3.029 to 1.571 when the Czech sensation is on the ice. 47.4 percent of the total faceoffs taken are in the offensive zone, which is a testament to his ability to forge offensive chances.
The Bruins would have been an offensive disaster sans Pastrnak. The Black and Gold didn’t have potent attack, finishing 23rd in the league in goals scored. Without one of their most important weapons, the Bruins wouldn’t have even sniffed the playoffs because they wouldn’t have scored enough goals to be competitive.
After already having a taste of what life in the NHL is like, Pastrnak will return next season even more lethal. He is ready for the physical, fast-paced game, and has proven that he can produce at the highest level. Look for him to continue to grow and light the lamp across the league.
Hop on the bandwagon now. The train is leaving the station.
Cam Kerry is on Twitter. He has been on Pastrnak’s bandwagon for awhile, although he’s admittedly not a fan of trains.